Thursday brought the season’s first major snowstorm across many parts of the U.S., signaling that, like it or not, winter is upon us. And while late-October Christmas album releases might not be your cup of tea, we’re rapidly approaching the season of too many baked goods and not enough layers of clothing. But we’re not here to talk about tea; we’re here to talk about “Hot Chocolate.”
Tyler, the Creator dropped Music Inspired by Illumination & Dr. Seuss’ The Grinch on Friday (Nov. 15), just a week after he added two songs to the holiday reboot’s official soundtrack. The six-song, 10-minute EP largely contains Christmas-infused Flower Boy vibes, with Tyler continuing to dazzle with his chops as a producer. It also contains “Hot Chocolate.”
For those who haven’t already listened to the unbridled joy of a jam, the premise is simple: Tyler, the Creator and Jerry Paper lay out what goes in hot chocolate and what to do while drinking it. Tyler’s verse kicks off with the lyric “Leche for my damn self,” letting out a euphoric Woo! in the middle of the line, expressing the exact feeling of getting that hard-earned leche for your damn self. The rest of the verse gets into the versatility of the warm beverage: You can (see: shouldn’t) use water, but Tyler personally prefers milk given that it’s 2 percent. After all, you got the leche for your damn self — it might as well go in the hot chocolate. Marshmallows on top? Sure. Extra whip? Why not? You can even use cinnamon!
Jerry Paper then lends a verse, delving more into the specifics of what can be done while sipping on the frothy treat. “Jigsaw puzzle with my buddies/ Tonight is our big night,” he sings. Honestly, what more could you ask for besides friends, puzzles, hot chocolate and a fire burning (elsewhere mentioned in the verse)? We’d like to imagine they’re all wearing fun, cashmere sweaters too. This does sound like a big night.
According to Paper, née Lucas Nathan, the song came together on a tight deadline. Tyler reached out via Twitter DM after Paper finished up an Oct. 13 stop in Chicago on his Stones Throw Tour. Given only a week to turn his contribution to the track around, Paper borrowed some recording equipment and frantically worked to get the job done.
“I was in a super weird hotel in the middle of nowhere in Canada, just kind of drinking beer and thinking of things that sound way more comforting than the moment that I was in,” he tells Billboard. “Like, you know, doing jigsaw puzzles with your friends. Sipping some hot chocolate. I was imagining instead of where I was.”
For as quickly as it all came together, it sounds like Paper’s verse didn’t need much adjustment after he submitted it. “I think he just said, ‘This is fire,’” Paper says of Tyler’s response. Tyler is never one to mince words.
Plain and simple, the song is an ode to the blissful joys that come with drinking hot chocolate. And it doesn’t need to be more than that, either. The two-and-a-half-minute track is sure to bring you joy. And if it doesn’t, well, you just may be the Grinch.
Listen to “Hot Chocolate” in all of its glory below.